In Africa, elections come with a number of revelations about the political system and psyche of the people.
In 2018, countries such as Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Mali held their elections, some of which were marred with controversies and others ended up with new leaders. The Democratic Republic of Congo is at the counting phase of the election, marking the end of Joseph Kabila’s rule.
In 2019, a number of African countries will have their presidential election and may result in new leaders. Libya’s case is super special in 2019 for it will hold a referendum first before a presidential election, with the UN and international community hoping it will be done by June to set the country back on path of progress and stability.
Scroll through to check out the African countries choosing new leaders in 2019:
In Mauritania, President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz will not be contesting for a third term in 2019. The country is facing a series of issues including slavery, poverty and poor economic growth. The parliamentary elections of 2018 highlighted voter apathy, which may influence the upcoming. presidential election.
In February, Nigeria is going to the polls to vote for their leaders. Incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari, is up for re-election and is up against at least 13 candidates for the post, including former vice president Atiku Abubakar.
Quite a number of women are eyeing the job, hoping to unseat Buhari, whose term has been marred by many issues including his absences from the country due to illness.
According to his party, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will be seeking re-election for a fifth term in Algeria, despite his health condition following a stroke in 2013 that left him immobile. He has not officially announced his candidacy.
If he runs, he will face a number of opponents, including journalist Ghani Mahdi, who announced his candidacy in November 2018.
In May, South Africa’s incumbent president, Cyril Ramaphosa is hoping to retain his position as leader of the African National Congress and president of the country.
He took over the position following the ouster of former president, Jacob Zuma, who battled corruption and state capture allegations. The elections come against a background of low confidence in the ANC as seen in the 2016 elections as well as a fierce attempt by the Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters.
Also happening in May is Malawi election, which pits President Peter Mutharika against former president Joyce Banda. Mutharika has faced a series of corruptions accusations, including claims that he received a bribe from one of the investors.
Tunisia will be heading to the polls in December 2019, in an event considered decisive by President Beji Caid Essebsi. The North African country is considered one of the relatively democratic nations and Arab Spring success story but is facing high inflation and increasing unemployment rates.
During the November 2018 negotiations on peace between the government and former rebels, the Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo), President Filipe Nyusi announced that elections in the country would be held in October 2019.
Nyusi will be up for re-election in a country riddled with various problems such as insurgency and fraud allegations in each election. The opposition is yet to name the candidate following the death of its leader, Afonso Dhlakama in April 2018.
Following the successful handover of power from President Ian Khama to Mokgweetsi Masisi, Botswana will now head to the polls to choose between the latter and other candidates.
Already Masisi has come under criticism for firing Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, the minister for local government and rural development for announcing her bid for the country’s top seat under Botswana Democratic Party, of which they are members.
Four of the country’s opposition parties have already formed a coalition that hopes to unseat the BDP that has been in power for 52 years.
In Senegal, 81 citizens are looking at becoming the country’s new president in 2019. Among them is President Macky Sall who launched his candidacy in December. The elections, slated for February 2019, is already facing a number of issues including a protest march by the opposition, which demanded electoral transparency.
Also slated for October is Namibia’s election when unemployment, poverty and social inequality will play a central role. President Hage Geingob was already selected as the leader of the ruling party, Swapo ahead of the elections.